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Bihar has made extensive use of technology to combat  pandemic: Jibesh Kumar



NEW DELHI: The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the worst times in many decades, but one silver lining is that the COVID-19 crisis pushed companies and governments over the technology tipping point—and forever changed business. It has brought about 5 years of change in digitization in just over a year.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, technology was critical in keeping our society running during lockdowns and quarantines. Furthermore, these technologies may have a long-term impact beyond COVID-19. Many new trends have emerged in the world, impacting our day-to-day needs. There are no sectors that have been unaffected by the change. We have seen trends such as OTTs replacing TV/Cinema, Ola/Rapido/uber becoming new transportation norms, Classroom learning shifting to online AI based learning, Tele consultation becoming new norms for OPDs, Grocery traction to apps such as BigBasket, Amazon and Flipkart becoming new shopping destinations, office meetings shifting to zoom/google meet/teams, and so on.

Bihar’s government has made extensive use of technology to combat the pandemic and assist all segments of society during these trying times.” Said Hon’ble Minister, IT Bihar, Jibesh Kumar.


Key initiatives of the state are as follows:

  1. Garur App: The Bihar government launched the “Garur App” to track and monitor migrants and all those who have arrived in the state via rail, road, and flight from across the country and abroad. The app has aided in the tracking of over two lakh international and domestic travellers in Bihar, as well as the mapping of their skills. The app was created by the Bihar Disaster Management Department.
  2. Bihar Corona Sahayata app: To combat COVID-19, the Bihar state government launched the Bihar Corona Sahayata app. Under the Bihar Aapda Prabandhan, the Bihar government provided a Corona Sahayata of Rs 1000 to each worker who entered Bihar from other states or was stranded outside Bihar. The application was chosen as a winner in the “pandemic category” of the central government’s Digital India Awards 2020.
  3. HIT stands for Home Isolation Tracking. The Covid App that has aided health workers in the regular monitoring of home-bound patients. Every day, the health worker visits the patient’s home and enters temperature and oxygen data into an app via mobile/tablet. These data sets are monitored at the district level, and if the oxygen level falls below a certain threshold, the patient is transferred to a nearby healthcare facility. This has aided the government in reaching out to a large number of homebound patients and saving lives. BSEDC created the app with the help of the Health Department and the IT Department.
  4. eLabharthi: The e-Labharthi System is intended to be a major transformation in electronic service delivery and financial inclusion by avoiding the pain points of existing service delivery mechanisms. Banks have the ability to transfer funds directly to the bank accounts of identified beneficiaries. DBT of all Education Department schemes, including the Chief Minister’s bicycle, dress, scholarship, meritocracy, incentive amount, and the Chief Minister’s Kishori Swasthya Yojana, will go directly to students. In a single year, more than 60 lakh beneficiaries from various schemes have benefited from the scheme.
  5. ePDS (Electronic public distribution system): In a significant relief to those battling the Covid-19 pandemic, the state government has provided free rationing to approximately The state government continued to monitor other assistance, such as providing free rations to 1.64 million ration card holders and depositing Rs 1000 in their accounts.
  6. Skill development in the IT/ITeS sector: The Department of Information Technology, Government of Bihar, provides technical skill training to Bihar youths across the state for 9 different courses and through 117 skill development centres in the IT/ITeS domain. Bihar’s technically skilled workforce will be a valuable asset to investors and entrepreneurs.
  7. Healthcare initiatives: Initiatives taken by the healthcare sector during covid to strengthen it during pandemic times:
    • eSanjeevani: Using eSanjeevani, patients in remote villages would be able to receive medical advice via video conference with the primary health care centre and district level sadar hospital.
    • Amazing app: it would aid in providing better healthcare to pregnant women.
    • Referral transport tracking system: people would benefit from a more efficient and timely ambulance service.
    • The Ashwin portal ensures that asha workers, who are the backbone of village healthcare, receive their incentives on time.
  8. VC Application for online meetings: Online meetings have become the norm of the day, and obtaining Microsoft Teams meeting licences has ensured this. BSEDC has provided various departments with Microsoft team licences for online meetings. This has aided the department’s ability to function during lockdown
    • College Wifi: The Bihar government has installed wifi on college campuses so that students can download books and study materials from outside sources.

The IT department is planning to use cutting-edge technology in service delivery, such as artificial intelligence, IoT, blockchain, and Big data. Some IT department initiatives that are being implemented or planned to transform the way government functions in the new normal brought about by the pandemic include: Blockchain-based Land Ledger, GIS, Use of AI and IoT in Agriculture, Use of AI and Big data in Security and surveillance, CFMS, eOffice, eVidhan, Security Operation Centre, Bihar State Data Centre 2.0, Smart Village, and so on.

As the government expands its presence in cyberspace, we must become more aware, responsible, and responsive to the risks that come with it. Every single day, we rely on the world of cyberspace. Our hardware and software, our desktops, laptops, and cell phones, have become inextricably linked to every aspect of our lives. It’s the broadband networks beneath us, as well as the wireless signals all around us. We use the Internet to pay our bills, bank, shop, file our taxes, and so on.


5G now in 1947 cities across 72 countries



NEW DELHI: Viavi Solutions said that it has released new industry data revealing that the number of cities with 5G networks now stands at 1,947 globally. Despite the pandemic, 5G cities came online at a rate of nearly two per day, with the addition of 635 new 5G cities in 2021, according to the new VIAVI report “The State of 5G,” now in its sixth year.

By the end of January 2022, 72 countries had 5G networks in place, with the newest crop of 5G countries comprising Argentina, Bhutan, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Malta and Mauritius, which all came online in the second half of 2021. Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) has overtaken Asia Pacific including Greater China (APAC) to become the region with the most 5G cities at 839. APAC has 689 5G cities and the Americas has 419.

Not surprisingly, the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China are the countries with the most 5G cities. China now has 356 5G cities and the United States has 296. The Philippines remained in the third spot globally with a total of 98 5G cities.

Currently, most 5G networks deployed are Non-Standalone (NSA) networks, meaning that 5G equipment is added to existing 4G network infrastructure. There are currently 24 Standalone (SA) 5G networks globally, meaning that they have been built using a new 5G core network. It is widely considered that many of the next-generation use cases and monetization models associated with 5G, beyond enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) will only be possible when Standalone 5G networks built on new 5G core networks are in place.

The State of 5G also highlights the growing Open RAN ecosystem, combining mobile operators as well as software and infrastructure vendors, seeking to develop an open, virtualized Radio Access Network (RAN) with embedded Artificial Intelligence (AI) control. As of March 2022, 64 operators have publicly announced their participation in the development of Open RAN networks. This breaks down to 23 live deployments of Open RAN networks, 34 in the trial phase with a further seven operators that have publicly announced they are in the pre-trial phase.

“5G continued to expand, despite the headwinds of a global pandemic,” said Sameh Yamany, CTO, VIAVI Solutions. “What comes next in 5G is the reinforcement of networks. This will take a couple of forms. Firstly, we expect to see more Standalone 5G networks, which will deliver on much of the promise of 5G, both for the operator and for the wider ecosystem of users. And secondly, we expect to see Open RAN continue its rapid development and start to become a de facto standard. VIAVI will continue to play a central role in testing those new networks as they are built and expanded.”

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Indian-origin man appointed CIA’s first chief technology officer



NEW DELHI: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William J. Burns announced the appointment of Nand Mulchandani to serve as CIA’s first-ever Chief Technology Officer (CTO).Mulchandani, an Indian-origin man who studied at Delhi’s Bluebells School International between 1979-1987.

With more than 25 years’ experience working in Silicon Valley as well as the Department of Defense (DoD), Mulchandani brings substantial private sector, startup, and government expertise to CIA.

As the CTO, Mulchandani will ensure the Agency is leveraging cutting-edge innovations and scanning the horizon for tomorrow’s innovations to further CIA’s mission. “Since my confirmation, I have prioritized focusing on technology and the new CTO position is a very important part of that effort. I am delighted Nand has joined our team and will bring his extensive experience to this crucial new role,” said Director Burns.

Prior to joining CIA, Mulchandani most recently served as the CTO and Acting Director of DoD’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. He also co-founded and was CEO of several successful startups– Oblix (acquired by Oracle), Determina (acquired by VMWare), OpenDNS (acquired by Cisco), and ScaleXtreme (acquired by Citrix). He has a degree in Computer Science and Math from Cornell, a Master of Science degree in Management from Stanford, and a Master in Public Administration degree from Harvard.

“I am honored to join CIA in this role and look forward to working with the Agency’s incredible team of technologists and domain experts who already deliver world-class intelligence and capabilities to help build a comprehensive technology strategy that delivers exciting capabilities working closely with industry and partners,” said Mulchandani.

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Apollo Hospitals joins hands with Cisco and Airtel



NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel, India’s premier communications solutions provider, partnered with Apollo Hospitals and Cisco to create a 5G Connected Ambulance that transforms access to healthcare and save lives in emergency situations. The demonstration was conducted in Bengaluru over the 5G trial spectrum allotted to Airtel by the Department of Telecom.

The custom-designed state-of-the-art 5G Connected Ambulance is equipped with the latest medical equipment, patient monitoring applications, and telemetry devices that transmit the patient health data to the hospital in real-time. In addition, it is also equipped with onboard cameras, camera-based Headgear, and Bodycams for paramedic staff – all connected to the ultra-fast & low latency Airtel 5G network. It will be further enabled with technologies like AR/VR.

When a critical patient is enroute to the hospital and every second makes a difference, the 5G Connected Ambulance acts as an extension of emergency room and enables the following:

Always connected to the Hospital: The high-speed, low latency 5G network relays the Geo-location of every Ambulance to the hospital’s command center to ensure the nearest Ambulance reaches the critical patient to save the patient’s Golden hour time. Also, Ambulance transmits the patient’s complete telemetry data, including vitals, in real-time to doctors and experts at the hospital. This allows the doctors at ER to make faster decisions and advise the paramedics in ambulance to administer required aid while on the move. It also prepares the hospital staff to better manage the patient on arrival and save precious time.

Transports doctors virtually to the Ambulance: With real-time camera feed available, the paramedics in ambulance can use the cameras to collaborate with the ER doctors at the hospital who are equipped with technologies like AV/VR to undertake basic procedures, if necessary. The doctors can virtually guide the paramedic to carry out the procedure and save precious lives.

Ajay Chitkara, Director & CEO, Airtel Business, Bharti Airtel said: “5G is a transformational technology, and this is yet another demonstration by Airtel as to how collaborations can unlock the potential of digital platforms for the good of humanity. Healthcare is one of the most promising use cases for 5G, and we are delighted to deepen our partnerships with Apollo Hospitals and Cisco to bring some innovative use cases for the Indian market.”

Dr. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, said, “Apollo Hospitals have been evangelists of connected ambulances and using these to reduce mortality and utilize the Golden Hour to the benefit of patients. The criticality of the ‘Golden hour’ is well known. It can mean the difference between life and death for seriously ill or trauma patients in an emergency. The Golden hour is impacted by the facilities in an ambulance and the distance from the Hospital. Studies show that an increased journey distance to the Hospital is associated with an increased risk of mortality, with a 10‐km increase in straight‐line distance associated with around a 1% absolute increase in mortality. Studies also indicate that pre-hospital time management should become a management objective. These insights propelled us to collaborate with Airtel on the 5G connected ambulance project and use 5G in order to utilize the disruption-free, lag-free connectivity it provides.”

She also said, “This will help save many lives as timely treatment can be started even in the Ambulance itself. The 5G connected ambulance is testament to Apollo Hospitals’ commitment to utilize the power to technology in healthcare for the benefit of patients.”

Anand Bhaskar, Managing Director, Service Provider Business, Cisco India & SAARC, said, “Cisco’s partnership with Airtel, through our Country Digitization Acceleration program, is a step towards bringing the immense possibilities of 5G to life by improving the performance of critical-care applications. 5G will be a game-changer in enabling new use cases and improving efficiency across every industry and specifically in the healthcare sector, as 5G will arm doctors with actionable insights to augment patient monitoring and treatment.”

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